New Tool To Improve Investigation And Prosecution
Business owners and residents are encouraged to provide information about their security cameras to assist Albuquerque police officers and prosecutors with the investigation of crimes and prosecution of criminals in Bernalillo County.
The county’s first-ever security camera map has been created in partnership with the City of Albuquerque and the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
“Public safety is about the whole community uniting against crime,” said Mayor Richard Berry. “Ultimately, when we expand the amount of video evidence of criminal activities in our community and make accessing that evidence easier for our police and prosecutors, more offenders will be caught and punished, and our community will be safer.”
With the “Security Camera Analytical Network” (SCAN) business owners or residents with working security cameras can add their system to the map. Sign-up entails providing the make and model of the camera system, the number of cameras, the resolution quality and retention schedule of the video, and contact information for the person who would work with police to review footage during the investigation of a crime.
The new map will facilitate a more comprehensive investigation of a crime as the Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) will search the network as calls for service come in and will be able to advise officers of cameras near their call prior to arriving on scene.
As businesses and individuals add their cameras, SCAN will identify the locations of the cameras on a map that will be available only to law enforcement officials and prosecutors. With one click, they will be able to see contact information and pertinent details for each camera system.
Among numerous other benefits, SCAN will significantly reduce the time it currently takes police officers to identify potential working security cameras around crime scenes, track down the owners/operators of those cameras, and determine whether the additional footage can assist their investigation. Additionally, SCAN will help police and prosecutors tie suspects to other unsolved crimes and likely increase the quality and amount of video evidence used in the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases.
“Participating businesses and residents can help us solve crimes and prosecute offenders by sharing data they are already collecting,” District Attorney Raúl Torrez said.
When businesses choose to participate in SCAN, they will also have the opportunity to enroll their security camera system in a program started by APD in 2013 that allows the RTCC to remotely access business security cameras whenever there is a call for service near the business. Participation in this program is voluntary, and business participants will be able to indicate on their sign-up form whether they are interested in talking with the RTCC about this option.
There is no charge to connect to the RTCC. Currently, over 32 companies (or other private entities) in Bernalillo County have tied their security camera feeds directly into the RTCC. This includes all of the Blake’s Lotaburger restaurants in Bernalillo County, St. Pius X High School, and every 7-Eleven convenience store. The partnerships have resulted in decreased crime at many participating business locations, as well as assisted in arresting several individuals.
SCAN is the second program launched in recent months as a result of collaboration between the city, the District Attorney, and area law enforcement agencies on new strategies that use data and technology to better coordinate and improve crime-fighting efforts. Launched in May, the Analysis-Led Recidivism Team was formed to identify serious repeat offenders in our community, track them through the justice system, apprehend them when necessary, and aggressively prosecute their cases from start to finish.